By Michael Pineda
Area residents on Sunday got their first peak inside the new OU Health Medical Center, which offers both emergency room and urgent care – a first in the region, officials say.
The open house Sunday came complete with gift bags and food trucks and was a prelude to the opening of the facility Monday.
“We wanted to welcome the community and encourage them to come see the facility,” said Leslie Buford, interim administrative executive of OU Health community health and primary care division and interim president of OU Health Edmond Medical Center. “We just thank the Yukon community for its patience while we build and introduce us to the community as well.”
Buford said people began lining up for a tour at 1:40 p.m., twenty minutes before the start of the open house. The response she received was positive.
“Everyone that I have spoken to has been really excited,” Buford said. “They mentioned they have been watching the construction over the past year or so and so they were very curious and wanted to see what it looked like inside.”
Visitors saw a building with five examination rooms for the emergency room and urgent care. There were two x-ray rooms, one of which houses a C/T Scanner. There was a trauma room, along with a medication room and point-of-care lab, where most any kind of blood test can be conducted.
Buford said the healthcare facility is a joint partnership with Intuitive Health.
“They (Intuitive Health) developed this model way back in the 1990s in Texas,” she said. “Their goal with the original model was to provide emergency-level services without the emergency level prices – they are the ones that came up with the model and they partnered with healthcare systems throughout the country, from Florida to Oregon.
“So, they approached us, thinking we would be the best fit for them to move into the Oklahoma City metro area,” Buford said.
The facility is the first of four OU Health has planned. The next will be built on the south side of Oklahoma City. Buford said OU Health was strategic in its selection of the Yukon area.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that the 73099 zip code is the fastest growing in the state at this point and time,” she said. “We certainly looked at what a fast-growing market this was, how many families are moving out here and people with children.
“Obviously looking at what other healthcare was available, we noticed there is a little bit of a vacuum here – so we of course wanted to be part of that growing community out here,” she said. “We also noticed when we looked at our own employee count; the Yukon-Mustang area has the highest concentration of OU Health employees for the metro too. We of course want to serve the community that our family members live in.”
Many of the employees who work at the facility were at the open house. Buford said there will be 30 employees working at OU Health. There will be a doctor on site 24 hours a day, with two doctors per 24-hour shift. Depending on the day, there will be 15 nurses. That includes one or two in urgent care and one or two in the ER area. There will also be imaging techs, front desk staff and five paramedics with front desk staff, as well as the program director and nursing manager.
The emergency room will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Urgent care will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.
“How it works is you would come in, tell us your symptoms and we would triage you,” Buford said. “Based on the symptoms, you would get the urgent care bill or the emergency room bill. We let you know before we proceed of course, what your bill is going to be.”
Any visit from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. will automatically be an emergency room bill.
OU Health is located at 709 Czech Hall Road.